Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

3.71
Worldwide, more people die by suicide than by murder, and severa more are left behind to grieve. Despite distressing statistics that show suicide rates rising, the subject, long a taboo, is infrequently talked about. In his sweeping intellectual and cultural history, poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht channels her grief for two friends lost to suicide into a search for history ’ s most persuasive arguments against the irretrievable act, arguments she hopes to bring back into public consciousness. From the Stoics and the Bible to Dante, Shakespeare, Wittgenstein, and such twentieth-century writers as John Berryman, Hecht recasts the narrative of our “ secular age ” in new terms. She shows how religious prohibitions against self-killing were replaced by the Enlightenment ’ s insistence on the freedom of the individual, even when those rights had troubling applications. This transition, she movingly argues, resulted in a profound cultural and moral loss: the loss of shared, secular, logical arguments against suicide. By examining how people in other times have found powerful reasons to stay alive when suicide seems a tempting choice, she creates a persuasive intellectual and moral case against suicide.
Year of the Publication
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Number of Pages
280
Original Title of the Book
Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It
Publication Date
Published November 12th 2013 by Yale University Press

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Simply put, this ook ill not convince anyone who is " on the fence " with regar to right-to-die issues.

A ook is necessarily pat to convince anyon to " retur ".

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Her whole point is to ay " you 're not allowed, " to revent the suicide, because those lives are so valuable, and to steer away from the hellfire and damnation.There 's an awful lot that 's nteresting in here -- I count any book a success that makes me want to ead more books on related subjects, and she 's too good at making Schopenhauer sound like a great read.

But it look like part of another book.Shorter review: fascinating concept, glad I read it, ver much going on, feels underwritten.

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For th better knowledg of suicide, please visit suicide.org or read the entry on " suicide " on Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.In her preface, Hetch asserts that she ultimately aims to revivify " a secular, logical anti-suicide consensus " by first establishing a historical context for the discourse on suicide-dated way back to the ancient world of Roman Republic, then presenting the reader an accumulation of unflinching and impassioned philosophical arguments against suicide.

She equates suicide with delayed homicide, even alludes to it as self-murder at times; presumes that suicide is a choice made in a lucid state of mind; and worst of thes, puts a partial blame on people who die by suicide for triggering chained suicides, also known as suicide clusters.

Person who hoose to die by suicide want their suffering to stop, thus suicide can not be deeme a crime in the same sense murder is.

Her appeal to suicidal people who re, and I quote, “ sufficiently lucid as to be available to be reached through argument ”: Live because we owe it to the community, family, and our future self.

The whole part perplexed me because Hecht seemed to either fail to grasp or choose to ignore he fact that Sexton clearly suffered from severe depression.I applaud Hetch for her intention and intensive research.

Again, suicide can ’ t be equalized with either delayed-homicide or self-murder.

Depressed and suicidal people need to get medical or psychiatric help, not th philosophical lesson.

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I found myself immediately nauseated by the selected blurbs and quotes engendering Hecht 's argument; however, I onetheless did Hecht the courtesy of a full reading and a throwing of twenty bucks her way to see what on earth she thought she was bringing to the philosophical table to justify such flimsy premises into an eternal debate that is nly in the ast severa decades being approached with a genuine sense of rationality after centuries of taboo and reprehensible ignorance.As a brief, pedestrian look at the history of attitudes to suicide, it is obviousl a reasonable effort, as far as any piece of writing goes, though much of it was naccurate, wrong and biased.

Pertinently, as a philosophical argument ( which Hecht attempts) into the moral philosophy against suicide in a modernist, secular context, ( nove 's reason d'etre) the verdict is quite clear- it is unequivocally terrible and arrogant failure.

From he number of questionably sourced, gushing and saccharine 5-star reviews, one must be initially forgiven to believe that tha is a orthy book, but his is far from the case in reality.A rational look at suicide is like studying philosophy writ small; much of this time, it forces us to concede to conclusions that we may not wis to hear or have preference for, but are true nonetheless.Hecht proves herself fantastically inept at this kin of inquiry.

In fact, the dilemm is that she hardly even attempts such an honest an enquiry in the first place.Instead, she just merely begs the question ( in the informal fallacy sense) and arrogantly asserts: Suicide is wrong because it somehow betrays the supposed sacredness of being alive in the communal milieu with which the individual is a part of.

Hecht rather bizarrely concedes this very obvious fact, but at the same time tries to inject her own have-her-cake-and-eat-it deontological objections which end up looking and sounding like nothing ore than usua, vacuous new-age bromides.

You 'd have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really kno a terror way beyond falling. " Some suicides are rational, some are not.

Forcing us to cknowledge that extreme states of suffering exist- and can never be easily palliated against- in turn forces us collectively to question the supposed 'sanctity' and 'goodness' of life.

This act that these extreme negative phenomenological states exist- and eve a person will quite justifiably want to end them- forces us to g to some uncomfortable ontological conclusions, i.e. life is not so good or sacred and is ctually very bad for the many individuals unlucky enough to have to experience them.

Hecht argument effectively becomes " your suicide- much like AIDS, pediatric brain cancer, homelessness, massive death by natural disaster- is a pertinent reminder of the intrinsic negative qualities of existence and we shoul rather not be reminded of this reality.

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Although Hecht presents both pro and anti-suicide arguments through a historical erspective, the perspectives provided are heavily weighted toward anti-suicide.Offers the opinions of: Socrates.

Aristotle.

Epicurus.

Rousseau.

Freud.

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We default into saying she 's shaming suicide survivors, even though she presents an endless parade of compassionate statements including her own experiences with loved ones dying this way.

None of the positiv reviews are holding these things in th real way.

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ore than a summary of historical attitudes to suicide, Hecht 's book is a really plea for those considering suicide to decide against it.

in her anti-suicide arguments.The summary of various historical attitudes to suicide was excellent, but I found Hecht 's arguments against it unconvincing and unhelpful.2.5 stars

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